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Full text of "The Courts Of Europe V-Ii"

38                               LETTERS   FROM   THE

beauty and has yet wonderful eyes. She is very
deaf. She received us seated at the upper end of
a room, with the men on one side, the ladies on
the other, in great form. She was herself decked
out with all the colours of the rainbow and a
profusion of diamonds, painted and patched so
that she looked like an embalmed Egyptian queen,
or Kitty Fisher when exposed full dressed after
her death. A little dog lay on a stool at her
feet and she was working cm parfilage. For this
amusement her friends supply her with presents,
on New Year's Day, in gold threads, representing
gardens, temples, &c., which she passes her time
in pulling to pieces. Her daughter, the Duchess
de Chatillon, sits by her as interpreter. It was
to her that Madame d'Andelau, after a dispute in
her presence on the preservation of beauty, ad-
dressed these extempore lines:

" La nature, prudente et sage,
Force le temps  respecter
Les charmes de ce beau visage,
Qu'elle n'aurait pu rep6ter.n

In her youth she was a professed libertine,
yet now she pronounces definitively upon moral
good and evil, and gives and takes away reputa-
tions, comme les autres.1

i Mr. Swinburne deals somewhat harshly with Madame
de la Valliere. No woman ever more sturdily resisted the